Making Tracks

Say Henry Ford and people will think automobile but if you say C.L. Best how many people would think tractor? And not just any tractor, but a tractor that would lead the way for a small California company to expand into a global presence.

C.L. Best went from designing equipment powered by horses to imagining equipment powered by the sun. His improvements to the track-type tractor concept allowed the Caterpillar Tractor Co. to become the world’s road builder and so much more.

Making Tracks follows Best from working for his father through starting and operating his own company to being chairman of the board for the Caterpillar Tractor Co. for twenty-six years. The story has it all: from fistfights in the boardroom to lawsuits and hostile takeovers; from California to Cuba, Russia and beyond and from designing and building tractors to raising cattle and mining gold. The life of C.L. Best was varied and intriguing.

To complete the profile of the man as well as the entrepreneur, the authors interviewed Best’s only son and were granted access to family photos and records. What emerges is a complete picture Clarence Leo Best and why he was driven to live up to his name-Best.

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